New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Lexus takes on Land Cruiser?

2010-03-04 07:45
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Lexus
Model LX570
Engine 5.7l V8
Power 270kW @ 5 600r/min
Torque 530Nm @ 3 600r/min
Transmission Six-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 7.3 seconds
Top Speed 220km/h
Fuel Consumption 14.8l/100km
Land Cruiser 200VX too ugly for your tastes? Perhaps a Lexus LX570 is more in line with your public image and SUV requirements – especially if you need swifter V8 performance…

Although a fair number of second generation LX470s found their way (via the parallel market) to South Africa, the third generation 570 model is the first low-range enabled Lexus to retail locally with full brand backing and after sales service.

It’s also the first Japanese SUV to broach the seven figure price barrier locally…

Proper credentials

Based on the Land Cruiser 200 platform, the LX570 is a premium SUV with formidable off-road ability.

Despite being independently suspended at all four wheel corners (like Merc's GL and Land Rover's Rangeys), LX570 counters any notion of lacking off-road ability by boasting a proper 2.618:1 reduction ratio low-range transfer case and limited-slip centre differential.

Off-road traditionalists will scoff at its all-wheel independent suspension. All luxury off-road wagons are this way inclined now though - LX570's broken terrain abilities are considerable.

A full suite of electronic driver aids are standard too – most of which should be familiar to Land Cruiser 200VX owners.

Amongst these is 'Multi-terrain' ABS. In addition to the conventional anti lock-function that prevents the brakes from locking under normal driving conditions, this latest system is able to detect off-road conditions such as loose sand and automatically switches to an optimised setting for the given road conditions.

There's a VSC cut out switch provided too, allowing the driver to override the LX570’s vehicle stability system. This is useful when the traction control element of the VSC component prevents the driver from controlling the engine output when an increase in power is needed to help release the vehicle when it is stuck in mud or snow for instance.

The LX570’s CRAWL function pretty much does what it says - allowing for three distinct speed settings for conditions that range from rocky terrain through loose rubble on a downhill slope to snow and mud or loose gravel.

It allows the driver to rely on the vehicle to maintain a set speed, Lo (1km/h), Mid (3km/h), and Hi (5 km/h), leaving him to focus purely on the steering. The CRAWL function will disengage if the vehicle speed rises above 10 km/h.

Beyond these clever electronic throttle and pulse brake actuated driving aids the LX570’s active height control and adaptive variable suspension (which adjusts the damping bound/rebound) does usher in plenty of obstacle clearing wheel travel.

Essentially a Land Cruiser 200 with more power,an extra gear, bigger wheels and less obnoxious styling.

Big (very big) V8

Reflecting its American market bias, the LX570 is powered by a 5.7l V8.

Driving through a six-speed (as opposed to 200VX's five-ratio) automatic transmission, the LX’s V8 is good for 270kW at 5 600r/min and a rotational force peak of 530Nm at 3 600r/min.

Show the six-speed self-shifter no mercy and Lexus claims the LX570 will run a hot hatch humbling 7.3 second 0-100km/h sprint time on the way to its 220km/h top speed.

Consumption, if driven with restraint, should average out to around 14l/100km.

Unsurprisingly, when you factor in those output numbers, the LX570 boasts an impressive 3.5t towing capacity.

As usual with Lexus, everything you could dream of is standard kit with LX570. An electronic, flip-switch operated parking brake would be nice, replacing the unsightly (and ergonomically undesirable) handbrake girdle...

Everything is standard (including the price)

As one would expect from Lexus, the LX570’s cabin trimmings are luxurious and the feature list extensive. Four-zone climate control, a harddisk based navigation system, outstanding sound courtesy of a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system (able to relay DVDs via the rear seat entertainment screens) and keyless entry are all part of the package.

The LX570’s seating configuration is designed with eight passengers in mind, boasting powered second row (and power retractable third row) seating. Luggage capacity obviously depends on the number of seating rows occupied. With the third row seating in use there's 259l of luggage space, which grows to 701l with the last row seating retracted.

Safety’s (very) well catered for too, with ten airbags scattered around the RX570’s cabin architecture.

So, if you like the Land Cruiser 200VX’s off-road performance and generous dimensions, yet find its styling distasteful and 4.7l V8 a bit tardy, perhaps you should investigate the new LX570 – which addresses all these issues.


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